صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

his blood, purchased glory for me, so I may, by my obedience, bring glory unto him: for "herein is he glorified, when we bring forth much fruit." (John xv. 8) I will glorify him in my body, by external purity, and exemplary sanctity; I will possess my vessel, i. e. my body, in holiness and in honour. (1 Thes. iv. 3) I will cleanse myself from all filthiness, as well of flesh as spirit. (2 Cor. vii. 1) I will yield my members servants of righteousness unto holiness. (Rom. vi. 19) I will let my good works shine before men, that they may glorify God. (Matth. v. 16)

I will glorify him in my spirit, by internal purity of heart. I will sanctify the Lord God himself, and make him my fear and dread. (Isa. viii. 13) I will labour for truth and chastity in the inward parts. (Psalm li. 6) I will take heed of Jezebel and her fornication, because the Lord searcheth the reins and the heart. (Rev. ii. 20-23)

Thus if we glorify him in body and spirit in a way of obedience; he will at last fashion our vile bodies like unto his glorious body, (Phil. iii. 21) and raise it up in honour and power. (1 Cor. xv. 42, 43)

And he will make our spirits, the spirits of just men made perfect, (Heb. xii. 23) and shed abroad his image fully upon us, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. (2 Thes. i. 10) Which that we may do, let us call upon God.




Opened in a SERMON preached at St. Margaret's Church in Westminster, before the Right Honourable the House of Commons, June 28, 1660. Being the Day of solemn Thanksgiving for the happy Return of the King's Majesty.





It may justly seem strange unto you, that, when joy is one of the swiftest affections of the soul, and, of all other, most impatient of suppression, this Sermon, preached before you on one of the greatest solemnities of joy that this nation hath seen, should have yielded such slow and lingering obedience unto your commands, and, like Cushi, should come last with the tidings of a restored king, for which I have no other apology to make but this, That the joy of one service did retard the last of another for having, together with some other of my reverend brethren, received a command from his Sacred Majesty, (whose heart is zealously set upon healing the breaches and divisions which are in the church

a Non se capit exundantis lætitiæ magnitudo, sed dedignata pectorum latebras, ita multa et candida foris prominet, ut intelligatur, non ingentior esse quàm verior. Nazar. Pancg. In cundem hominem non puto convenire gaudium et silentiam. Pacat.

of God amongst us) to draw up some materials towards so happy a work; and finding, that in papers of such a nature, brought under the views of different judgements (wherein every clause, yea, many times single words and particular expressions, prove the subject of long debates) it is impossible to make such despatch, as otherwise the urgency of the design doth passionately call for: the necessary and constant attendance upon that service, did put for a time a suspension upon the obedience, which I was ready much sooner to have yielded unto your commands, for publishing this Sermon.

It is now at last, by God's assistance, come forth; and sheweth how easily the spirit and providence of God, can erect his temple and provide for the interests of his truth and worship, though the instruments of it be utterly destitute of human power. It is indeed a happy thing, when they who have power, will exert it for God, and lay it out upon the service of his house. But though they should want hands or hearts to build the church, God hath ever a residue of spirit to advance his own work by, and knows how to infatuate all counsels, and to dissipate all enterprises and machinations which are framed against it.

Our eyes have seen how easy it is with God to dissolve and demolish the most cunningly erected structure, which either policy could contrive, or power support; and that with a still voice, and in a silent way, without so much as drawing a sword or striking a blow to effect it. How he can do things which we looked not for, by rebuking seas, and levelling mountains, and melting armies, and scattering the beasts of the reeds, and making a plain and sudden way through insuperable difficulties, to bring home our dread Sovereign to his throne and native dominions again.

And he who hath wrought wonders for us in these our civil concernments, can do the like for his church; the interests whereof are, of all things on the earth, dearest unto him, and the welfare and happiness whereof, all the earthquakes and concussions, which have been amongst us, do call aloud unto you, to look after and to be tender of.

b Mal. ii. 15. 2 Sam. xv. 31. Isai. xix. 3, 11. Job v. 12, 13, 14. xii. 17. Isai. liv. 17. e 1 Kings xix. 12. Isai. xiv. 3. Matth. viii. 26. Zach. iv. 7. Psalm xlvi. 9. Ixvili. 36. Isai. xlix. 11. e Isai. xliii. 4.

When the Lord shakes heaven and earth, churches and states, it is to make way for Him who is the Desire of all nations. If Christ, and the glory of his holy ordinances, and spiritual worship be not more exalted; if the sons of Levi be not purified, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; if the house of God be not purged of corruptions; if pomp, and splendor, and terrene interests be the things most passionately prosecuted, and the vitals and essentials of religion, the great things of the law, purity of doctrine, spiritualness of worship, power of godliness, but in the second place regarded; if we be zealous for mint and cummin, and phylacteries and precepts of men h, and have not a proportionable fervour of zeal for the Magnalia Dei; certainly God will yet reckon with us, and call us to an account for all the blood which hath been shed, for all the treasure which hath been exhausted, for all the judgements and mercies, for all the providences and wonders, which have been expended upon us. I speak not this to accuse, but only to awaken; not to charge, but only to beseech you to consider whether the Lord do not expect, that after such vicissitudes of wonders as we have seen, (especially having inclined the heart of our gracious Sovereign unto moderate healing and reforming resolutions,) you should together with him take up the same purposes, to make the church of Christ amongst us more holy and happy than ever it was before. For certainly never any parliaments had greater advantages to promote religion than you have. I shall conclude this dedication and address unto you with the words of Azariah the prophet unto Asa. The Lord is with you while you be with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. The Lord shine upon all your counsels.

Your Honours' most humbly devoted,

in all duty and obedience,


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ZECH. iv. 6.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.

In the former part of the chapter, we have a vision of a golden candlestick, with a bowl, and seven lamps and pipes, and two olive trees on either side of the bowl, out of which the candlestick was supplied with oil. The prophet, being prepared by an humble sense and confession of his own ignorance, to receive fuller instruction concerning it, is, by the angel, in these words, acquainted with the mind of God therein. Teaching us by the way, not to despond or be discouraged by the difficulty of the scriptures from the studying of them, but to be humbled under the sense of our own blindness, and to stir up in ourselves a serious desire after fuller knowledge of God in them, and to betake ourselves unto Christ, to reveal the counsel of God unto us; and then to rest assured that the Lord will help our infirmities, and give us an understanding to know him, so far as shall be necessary for our condition and salvation;-according unto those gracious promises, "The meek he will teach his way, and shew them that fear him, his covenant." (Psalm xxv. 9, 14) "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” (John vii. 17) "Unto him that ordereth his conversation aright, I will shew the salvation of God." (Psalm 1. 23)

1. We are here to enquire why this word is sent unto Zerubbabel? We find that the Lord stirred up Joshua and Zerubbabel, as principal instruments, whom he would use in building the temple, and restoring his worship; which accordingly we find them setting about; Ezra ii. 68, 69, and ii. 2, 8. The work, by the power and malice of the Samaritans, was obstructed from the days of Cyrus to Darius. The Lord, by the prophet Haggai and Zechariah, raised up the hearts of Zerubbabel and Joshua to revive the work. (Ezra v. 2)

« السابقةمتابعة »